3 Day Festival of Dance Drama underway

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, January 16, 2019: A 3-day Festival of Dance Drama was today inaugurated by Manipur governor Dr. Najma Heptulla  who is also the chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur DanceAcademy (JNMDA) at the auditorium of the academy here.

The function was presided by vice-chairman of JNMDA professor H. Tombi Singh.

Heptulla said she is privileged to have the opportunity of witnessing the Dance-Drama “Shakuntala” choreographed by late W. Lokendrajit Singh, a renowned choreographer of Manipur on the occasion of completing 43 years of the production unit of JNMDA.

 The dance academy was established in the year 1954 under the patronage of the late Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. It is the first National Institution of its kind in India for Manipuri dance. When Pandit Nehru visited Manipur in 1952, he saw a presentation comprising of a number of Dances such as Manipuri, Naga and others.  He observed, “The normal dances that we see elsewhere in India seemed pale and insipid in comparison with the show at Manipur”.

It goes without saying that Manipur is today best introduced to the world through her rich performing arts and culture and not through her geographical position and size.  It is through the Manipuri dance that the world has known the existence of such a tiny state in this far-flung North Eastern part of the country.

It is our bounden duty to preserve, nurture and enrich Manipuri dance and culture so that it may continue to enrich the Indian culture, said the governor.

The academy is at present conducting various courses in Raas, Lai Haraoba, Nata-Sankirtana (Ishei), Nata-Sankirtana (Cholom), Nata-Sankirtana (Pung), Tribal Dance and Thang-ta.    She is happy that the J.N. Manipur Dance Academy, which was established more than 60 years ago with the sole objective of preserving and propagating Manipuri culture, particularly dance, has been devoting itself whole heartedly to this noble cause since then.

“Ghana Baari Barikhata” by Manipuri Nartanalaya, Kolkata and “Maan Vikshya” by Manipuri Jagoi Marup, Imphal will be played on January 17 and 18 at 4 pm.

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